When a judge presiding over a child custody or support issue enters an order in Ohio, the parents are expected to abide by it unless a revised one is approved by them. Even if a mom or dad loses their job or becomes ill, it still doesn’t take away their responsibility to pay any ordered child support that a judge deems that they owe, but the situation may warrant a modification. Barring that, any other failure to pay can carry a variety of consequences.
Ohio legislators have authorized the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) to enforce all orders in the state. Some approaches that they’re allowed to pursue to ensure that support payments are made include suspending a parent’s drivers or professional license. They can also withhold or garnish their income, workers’ compensation, veterans or Social Security disability benefits, unemployment or state and federal tax refunds.
CSEA is also authorized to place a lien on a mom or dad’s home or other property and also place any unpaid support amount on their credit bureau reports. They can deny the parent’s passport, ask that a judge hold them in contempt of court or have them issue bench warrants for their arrest.
If a parent misses making child support payments for an extended period of time, then they may be forced to spend time in jail and pay fines associated with either their misdemeanor or felony conviction.
One of the best ways that a parent can prevent against any of these measures being taken against them is to immediately seek a modification of the support order the minute that they become concerned about their ability to pay what’s due. A Westerville attorney can help you determine how to make the child support formula work for you and your children.